(photo courtesy Brother Cleve)
"Who'd have thought that out of a genre as
debased as 'easy listening' would come something so mind-curdlingly
bizarre and beautiful. With a genius like Esquivel you have to come
up with new adjectives. A friend, Byron Werner, played some Esquivel
for me when I first arrived in L.A. in 1977 -- and I couldn't stand
it. Byron told me, 'I guarantee you're gonna come to love this.' And
he was right. I'm a huge fan."
Matt Groening, Creator of The Simpsons
to Side A
Our friend Bro. Cleve, touring member of Combustible Edison,
returned recently from a visit with Esquivel in Mexico City. He
brought back this short note which Esquivel asked us to share with
the visitors to SABPM:
At the Chicago Sun-Times, there was a very influential
columnist named Sig Sakowitz. He wrote the entertainment column,
where he would critique everyone playing in town. Before we opened
[at the Empire Room in the Parkman House Hotel] he wrote
in his column "Esquivel!....Why?" He came to the show, and I
showed him why. He came almost every night. The next week in his
column he wrote "Esquivel is so good he deserves 2 exclamation
Juan Esquivel, July 1995
"Esquivel is to pop music approximately what Aaron
Copeland is to serious music or what a John Coltrane is to jazz.
He achieves a strange new sound dissonance, unusual juxtapositions
of instrument or vocal sounds, and rapid switches in tempi, volume
Esquivel was a genius arranger who created a beautiful
Esquivel was way ahead of his time and should be heard
now to give arrangers and producers some lessons. When so much
production nowadays sounds like mush coming out of speakers, it's
great to hear recordings with dynamics coming at you in true
Fred Schneider of the B-52s
Drop me email with other sources.
Researched and compiled by Brother Cleve.
Also check out the Esquivel
Las Tandas de Juan Garcia Esquivel 1957 RCA MKL-2001
Cabaret Tragico (soundtrack) 1957 RCA MKL-1088 (monaural)*
Pedro Vargas Sings (conducts 2 tracks) 1957 RCA LPM-1182
Tony Camargo (arranged two tracks) RCA Mexicana MKL 1359 To
Love Again 1957 LPM-1345 (monaural)**
Other Worlds, Other Sounds October 1958 RCA LSP-1753**
Four Corners of the World 1958 RCA LSP-1749
Exploring New Sounds in Hi-Fi 1959 RCA LPM-1978 (monaural)
Exploring New Sounds in Stereo June 1959 RCA LSP-1978**
Strings Aflame Sept. 1959 RCA LSP-1988
The Merriest of Christmas Pops (six tracks, Ray Martin doing
the rest) Nov. 1959
Christmas Programming from RCA Victor (1 track) Dec 1959 RCA
The Dancing Beat of the Latin Bands (2 tracks) Jan 1960 RCA
Hello Amigos - The Ames Brothers; Feb 1960 RCA LSP-2100
Infinity in Sound Sept 1960 RCA LSP-2225**
Infinity in Sound, Vol. 2 May 1961 RCA LSP-2296**
Latin-esque March 1962 RCA LSA-2418**
In a Mellow Mood - The Living Strings; June 1962 CAMS-709
More of Other Worlds and Other Sounds August 1962 Reprise
The Best of Esquivel 1966 RCA LSP-3502
The Genius of Esquivel (in Mexico: Esquivel! Actuel!) Jan 1967
Esquivel! 1968! 1968 RCA MKS-1777*
Nulvos Exitos (Combination of "Genius" and "1968") June 1969
Solo Para Bailer (reissue of MKL-2001 minus 2 tracks) 1980
Juan Garcia Esquivel y su Orchestra Sonorama (reissue of 1345
minus 2 tracks) 1982 OTR-70*
Burbujas 1978 Discos America*
Odisea Burbujas 1979 Discos America 534*
Burbujas: Vamos al Circo 1981 Discos America 598*
15 Internacionale Exitos de Juan Garcia Esquivel 1986 RCA
La Bamba, La Rasapa (reissue of Latinesque) 1986 BMG CD
* Mexico Only
** Also released in Mexico under different catalog number
Amor, b/w Nocturnal, 7" single, 1957 RCA 47-6008.
From the album "To Love Again" ("Record Prevue"). No PS. See
a picture of the label.
Latin-esque, 7" 6-song EP - Stereo Action. RCA LSA-2418. Same
cover as the Latin-esque LP. Includes Latin-esque, La Paloma,
Cachito, Jungle Drums, Carioca, and Estrellita. (In the collection of
Space Age Bachelor Pad Music 1994 CD (1958-1967) Bar/None
Music from a Sparkling Planet 1995 CD (1958-1967) Bar/None
(Both titles were simultaneously released on 12" vinyl, now sold out
Cabaret Manana 1995 CD RCA/BMG
Catalog of Curiousities
offers both of the Bar/None CDs.
Drop me email with additional information.
(Info courtesy of Jack Diamond and Brother Cleve.)
While Esquivel never won a Grammy, he was
nominated several times:
Other Worlds Other Sounds nominated for Best Orchestra. Winner
was Billy May's "Big Fat Brass" over Mancini's "Peter Gunn," Johnny
Mandel's "I Want To Live," and others.
Worlds Other Sounds nominated for Best Engineered Nonclassical
Record. Winner was "The Chipmunk Song."
Strings Aflame nominated for Best Orchestra. Winner was David
Rose and his Orchestra with Andre Previn, "Like Young."
Strings Aflame nominated for Best Arrangement. Winner was
Billy May for Frank Sinatra's "Come Dance With Me."
Infinity In Sound nominated for Best Orchestra. Winner was
Henry Mancini for "Mr. Lucky."
Infinity In Sound nominated for Best Engineering. Beating out
Esquivel, Terry Snyder's All Stars, "Persuassive Percussion Vol. 2,"
and Dick Schory's "Wild Percussion & Horns A' Plenty," was Ella
Fitzgerald's "Ella sings the George & Ira Gershwin Songbook."